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Dublin: 3 °C Tuesday 26 March, 2019
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Ireland is less corrupt than it used to be...

… although there is still “a clear incentive for some people to engage in graft”.

Image: corruption via shutterstock

A NEW REPORT from an leading international corruption watchdog has found that Ireland is becoming less corrupt.

Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2014 has shown Ireland improve for the second year running.

Ireland’s score improved from 72 to 74 out of 100 – which put it in 17 out of 174 countries (in the top 10%).

The least corrupt country was found to be Denmark, who scored a 92 on the agency’s index. Other Scandinavian nations fared well, with Norway, Sweden and Finland all making the top five with scores over 85.

The result still leaves Ireland behind Canada, Singapore, the Netherlands and Japan in the ratings.

corruption table Source: Transparency International

A larger version of the map can be view here. 

The improvement to Ireland’s ranking came despite controversies this year involving appointments to public bodies, the Gardaí and allegations of corruption in planning.

Speaking about the change, Chief Executive of Transparency International Ireland John Devitt, said:

Local authorities and public procurement across the public sector still appear vulnerable to corruption in large part because of the amounts of money to be gained through government contracts, as well as the rising property value.
When you factor in the probability that that you will not be caught for bending or breaking the law, there is a clear incentive for some people to engage in graft.

Lobbying 

Secrecy in lobbying was identified as something that required continuing focus for further improvements to the rating.

Last week, Transparency International Ireland released a report on the regulation of lobbying in Ireland.

In the report it was found that lobbying in Ireland comes from a wide range of groups and can be valuable to the public decision-making process.

However, it made the cautionary point that there should be public concern for lobbying from political insiders and who are not open to scrutiny.

While a new online register of lobbyists was welcomed by the report – it was clear that it should not be seen as an all encompassing solution.

On this, the report’s lead researcher, Nuala Haughey, said:

But there are definite limits to what these kinds of online registers can do. And it would be wrong for the public to get the impression that this somehow solves all the problems we face when politicians, officials and regulators allow themselves to be co-opted by vested interests or professional lobbyists working on their behalf.

Read: ‘Government distrust over water charges policy shows public want effective lobbying rules’

Also: Here’s what you need to know about Brendan Howlin’s new lobbying law

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